Elegant Tern

Have a lifespan of 20 years or more
Elegant Tern Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Thalasseus elegans
Elegant Tern Physical Characteristics
Grey, Black, White
Up to 21 years
Top speed
24 mph
7-12 oz
Elegant Tern Distribition

“Elegant Terns can live to be two decades old or much more.”

Elegant Terns are social birds with a loud phone call that seems like, ‘kar- eek!’ They live throughout a series of rough seaside locations, shallows, and bays in North and South America. A grownup has white plumes and a dark cap or mask, of black plumes over its eyes and on the top of its head. They have a life expectancy of 20 plus years.

3 Elegant Tern Fantastic Realities

  • They have one to 2 eggs in a clutch
  • Their conservation status is Near Threatened
  • They have a long, intense yellow costs

Where To Locate Elegant Tern

The Elegant Tern can be located in the USA on the coastline of The golden state and down via the western coastline of Mexico completely to South America. In the summertime period, Elegant Terns are more than likely to be located in the north component of The golden state’s coastline. However the movement path they absorb the fall to locate warmer temperature levels runs southern to Peru and Chile.

The environment of these seabirds consists of rough seaside locations, bays, and shallows. They collect in big teams and are particularly noticeable throughout the springtime and summertime. These birds are recognized for their loud calling habits.

Elegant Tern Nests

Elegant Terns scratch the ground with their costs to make an extremely superficial impression. This impression acts as their nest. Often the breeding set develop a slim boundary of branches around the impression. This nest is simply big sufficient to fit 2 eggs.

Elegant Tern Scientific Name

Thalasseus elegans is the scientific name of theElegant Tern Words Thalassa is Greek definition sea while the Latin word elegans converts to elegant. Its class is Aves and it remains in the Laridae family.

Elegant Tern Appearance & & Habits

An Elegant Tern has white plumes on its body with wings of light grey. It has a black mask of plumes on its face and head. Among one of the most remarkable features of this bird is its lengthy, intense yellow costs. It’s excellent for diving right into the water to capture tiny fish. This seabird strolls along on 2 slim black legs.

An Elegant Tern’s weight is 7 to 12 ounces, and it determines 15 to 17 inches long. Its wingspan is 43 inches.

In regards to protective functions, this bird can utilize its costs to eliminate various other birds and probably also repel tinypredators Nevertheless, its primary protection is the reality that it resides in big teams. As a matter of fact, there can be thousands of terns surviving on one coastline. So, whenever a killer comes close to most participants of the group have the ability to run away.

Elegant tern, Thalasseus elegans, in flight over a marsh as it fishes for food.
Elegant tern, Thalasseus elegans, in trip over a marsh as it fishes for food.SunflowerMomma/Shutterstock. com

Elegant Tern Movement Pattern and Timing

This bird does have a details movement path when the period adjustments from summertime to drop. As the summertime period methods, Elegant Terns beginning on a path north up the coastline of The golden state. Beginning in April or May they reproduce in these locations. When the period resorts to drop, these birds begin carrying on a path southern and in some cases wind up as much southern as Peru or Chile in South America.

Elegant Tern vs. Caspian Tern

The Elegant Tern shares similar functions with numerous various other kinds of terns. Among those is the CaspianTern Initially look, the black- feathery mask of both of these birds can make it simple to blend them up. On top of that, both the Caspian and the Elegant Tern have white and grey plumes in addition to a vibrantly tinted costs. However look very closely at these 2 birds and you’ll see some distinctions.

For one, a Caspian Tern has a red costs whereas an Elegant Tern has a yellow costs. An additional visible distinction is the Caspian Tern at 24 inches lengthy is a lot bigger than theElegant Tern And also, the Caspian Tern has a wingspan of 57 inches whereas an Elegant Tern’s wingspan is 43 inches.

In regards to the variety of these birds, the Elegant Tern resides in seaside North and South America. Conversely, the Caspian Tern is located on numerous continents consisting of The United States and Canada, Africa, Australia, and Europe.

Elegant Tern vs. Royal Tern

The Royal Tern is an additional bird that has a great deal alike with theElegant Tern Both birds share a similar pigmentation of white and grey plumes. Each has actually a vibrantly tinted costs and slim black legs.

Among the primary distinctions in between these birds associates with dimension. The Royal Tern is bigger than theElegant Tern The Royal Tern evaluates 12 to 16 ounces and is 18 to 20 inches long. Likewise, though each bird’s costs is vibrantly tinted, the Elegant Tern’s costs is much longer and bent.

Elegant Tern Diet

This bird’s diet is meat-eating.

What does the Elegant Tern eat?

Anchovies and various other tiny fish comprise the almost all of this bird’s diet. It additionally consumes shellfishes.

Elegant Tern Predators, Risks and Conservation Status

What consumes Elegant Terns?

Foxes, dogs, and bigger birds are predators of Elegant Terns.

The predators of this bird real-time near or within the very same environment. For example, a fox might have the ability to catch a grown-up Elegant Tern or locate a nest of chicks.

The Elegant Tern is classified as Near Threatened with a secure populace. Overfishing by humans has actually created a decrease in their supply of food. On top of that, severe weather condition occasions like typhoons have actually exterminated fish.

Elegant Tern Reproduction, Youthful and Molting

Elegant Terns lay one to 2 eggs in a solitary clutch in late springtime or very early summertime. The incubation duration of their eggs is 4 weeks. Throughout that time, both the male and female take transforms supervising the eggs.

After the eggs hatch out, the chicks remain in their nest for around 7 days. After that, they relocate to a big team of various other chicks. This team of chicks is called a creche and can number in the hundreds!

Moms and dads feed their chicks while they remain in the creche. They find their young by paying attention for their chick’s one-of-a-kind phone call.

The chicks fledge at 35 days old and leave the creche. For the following 5 months, the young keep near their moms and dads, after that goes off to live individually. Elegant Terns can live past the age of two decades.

Elegant Tern Populace

The populace of this bird is in between 51,000 and 90,000 people. Their conservation status is Near Threatened, however their populace is steady.


  1. IUCN Redlist, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22694552/178970750
  2. Sonoma County Bird Watching Spots, Available here: http://www.colintalcroft.com/Sonoma_County_Bird_Watching_Spots/Elegant_Tern.html
  3. USGS, Available here: https://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/Idtips/h0660id.html
  4. The California State University, Available here: https://www.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/research/coast/funding/Pages/tern-migration.aspx
  5. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspian_tern
  6. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_tern
  7. National Park Service, Available here: https://www.nps.gov/prsf/learn/nature/elegant-tern.htm

Relate animals

Abyssinian Guinea Pig

They are one of the oldest breeds of guinea pig

Ackie Monitor

The ackie monitor has a spiny tail which it uses as in self-defense.


The Albertonectes had the longest neck out of other Elasmosaurids.

American Bully

Though the American bully was bred to look intimidating, it makes an extremely friendly family pet!

Latest Animal News